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5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on 5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post
Aug 302015
 

Activist Post

When we hear the term offshore banking, it often conjures up images of the overly-wealthy elite or sly, nefarious criminals hiding away millions of dollars from prying government eyes. But the way offshore banking is portrayed in the movies is not the reality.

Opening an account offshore is not illegal, as many people wrongly believe. In fact, many offshore financial institutions are considered safer than many domestic banks. Most foreign banks offer absolute privacy guarantees, as well as security to protect your assets.

Banks in the United States are limited in the amount of the interest they can pay to customers. Many offshore institutions are able to offer higher interest rates to their clients. In many US and European banks, the governments have too much control, to the detriment of the countries citizens. Because of this, the government can step in to freeze your bank accounts and assets indefinitely.

Some countries are a better choice for offshore banking than others. Here are the top five countries to consider if you want to put a portion of your money into a foreign account and what you need to open one.

Dubai

Dubai has a premium banking sector that serves local, expatriate and offshore clients. It is said that the privacy policy for Dubai banks is even better than that of Swiss banks. There are also no taxes in this country. To open an account, you will first need to find what the minimum balance is for each bank. You will need to provide a copy of your passport, a visit visa, proof of address, bank card from your country of residence and maybe a letter of recommendation from a UAE resident.

Singapore

When you open an account in Singapore, you are investing in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, while at the same time protecting your money and saving on taxes. This country has the lowest tax rate in Asia. The typical minimum required balance is $1,000. You need to have your passport, proof of address, and maybe even your taxpayer number (SSN) for your country of residence. Accounts can be held in any currency, even gold.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a strong banking infrastructure. Banks do not require formal approval from the government for opening accounts. The minimum balance is $3,000. To open an account, you will need your passport, proof of address, and possibly a reference letter from a banker. Sovereign savings accounts in Hong Kong can also be held in any currency including gold.

Switzerland

Swiss banks are best known for their strict privacy policies. Since 1934, laws prevent bankers from divulging any client account information. Only recently have US law enforcement officers been permitted to get information in the course of a criminal investigation (including tax evasion). Some accounts may be opened with as little as $3,500. You need to have a passport, recent utility bill to establish residency, residence permit to set up an account.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have no direct taxation. The minimum balance is usually $5,000 to open an account. You will need a letter of reference from your home banker and deposits cannot be made with cash, but with check, wire transfer or bank draft. You need proof of identity and a notarized copy of your passport, character reference and any additional documents requested by the bank.

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5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking – Activist Post

Offshore banking – NatWest

 Offshore Banking  Comments Off on Offshore banking – NatWest
Aug 302015
 

When you work or live abroad, there can be extra demands on your finances. NatWest’s International Personal Banking products and services are designed to meet the needs of:

– UK expatriates working or living in any other country – Foreign nationals living or working in the UK – Individuals who are internationally mobile

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Offshore banking – NatWest

7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on 7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …
Aug 292015
 

In a wordillegal immigrants have Second Amendment rights too.

The case was titled United States v. Meza-Rodriguez, and the decision was handed down on August 20.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that the decision was written by Judge Diane Wood for a panel that included Judges Frank Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.

As for the background to the case, Wood explained that Mariano Meza-Rodriguez, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in August 2013 [and found to be] carrying a .22 caliber cartridge. Because he did not have documentation to show that he was in the United States lawfully, he was charged as being in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5), which forbids illegal immigrants from possessing firearms in the United States.

Meza-Rodriquez was indicted. He then challenged the indictment by claiming 922(g)(5) impermissibly infringed on his rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected Meza-Rodriquezs claim, thereby upholding the indictment. He appealed the District Courts decision, thus bringing the case to the 7th Circuit.

In working through the case, Wood indicated that certain aspects of the language inDistrict of Columbia v. Heller (2008) support the view that all people, including non-U.S. citizens, whether or not they are authorized to be in the country, enjoy at least some rights under the Second Amendment.

She elaborated:

In a post-Heller world, where it is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded.No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.

Yet the 7th Circuit upheld the District Courts rulingwhich upheld Meza-Rodriguezs indictmenton the grounds that the Second Amendment does not preclude certain restrictions on the right to bear arms, including the one imposed by 922(g)(5).

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second …

Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa

 SEO  Comments Off on Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa
Aug 252015
 

SEO Tulsa is ranked number one by Google for keywords such as Tulsa Search Engine Optimization and Tulsa SEO and theres a reason for that. We are extremely good in our profession. Do you want your website to rank high on search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing? The fact is that a website is of no good if your existing clients or prospective clients cannot find it on the World Wide Web. We can help you optimize your site so that it appears in the top results of search engines. This process of reaching for the top of search engine results is known as search engine optimization (SEO for short). SEO plays an important part in directing potential clients to your website. Some additional tactics we utilize to achieve the greatest possible results in a relatively short time period include: online reputation management, social media marketing, and the creation of e-newsletters, press releases as well as other high-quality marketing content.

SEO Tulsa offers distinctive and holistic marketing strategies and services to help businesses achieve maximum visibility as well as reputability. We utilize a customized approach in helping our customers to elevate their businesses to higher levels in their respective niches.

We use a strategic tactic thats built around creating, quantifying as well as measuring customer objectives. Our team stays very current as well as up to date on all Google changes and updates made to its algorithm. All these help to ensure that our clients achieve optimum online exposure.

As a world class Communications Company operating within one of the worlds fastest developing economic markets, SEO Tulsa is wholly committed to serving the needs of local companies via services designed specially to target local clients. If you operate a business in Tulsa and environs, you require strategic online advertising as well as local Tulsa SEO to give your website the visibility it needs to bring your business to the attention of prospective customers.

First, you will need to decide whether to optimize your marketing activities for the international market, for only the local Tulsa market or for both. Whichever one you choose, we can help you achieve your objectives. Our local Tulsa search engine optimization services are specially designed to maximize your chances of being listed within the local section of a Google search listing. The objective of Tulsa SEO is to get your website to rank high in the search page results when a prospective client uses the internet to search for a local supplier of the products or services that you offer. A few examples of pertinent search terms include: automobile repair in Tulsa, Tulsa dentist, Tulsa realtor, or if you are searching for an SEO service provider, SEO Tulsa or Search Engine Optimization Tulsa.

Aside from providing quality and highly effective SEO services, we also utilize Google My Business as well as other far-reaching online platforms to get to your targeted client base directly. Some of the tools we employ include directory listings, customer reviews and local mapping. Also, we adopt a community-centric tactic to web reputation management by concentrating on things such as email marketing, press releases designed for local media outlets and social media presence. All these are specially designed to reach as well as engage your target clients or audience.

If your business is located within the Tulsa area, then your main priority should be localized leads. Since Tulsa has one of the fastest growing populations as well as strongest economies in the country, local Tulsa businesses are generally the most valuable; also they have a very high inbound lead conversion rate. This means greater returns on marketing investment.

Business owners operating internationally via the web can benefit from the international search engine optimization services provided by our parent company SSD Fair Marketing. They utilize fair marketing methods just like ours to create brand awareness as well as online authority within the global marketplace.

Companies that sell products in various parts of the globe require efficient and comprehensive international search engine optimization services and strategies. For companies that presently have (or are trying to setup) an ecommerce site, geography is certainly not a problem. Consumers can order for the products they require from anywhere on the planet via the internet. Whether you are looking to optimize your present website or want to create a new website for your ecommerce business, SEO Tulsa can help you.

As soon as your site has been optimized for the international market, it will appear in the search results when a prospective client searches for the kind of products that you provide without indicating a particular location. Bear in mind that your site will be competing with millions of other websites in different parts of the world, and not merely with businesses or websites that are within your locality. This is where international search engine optimization services can help you achieve competitive edge. You can even compete with corporate giants such as Coca-cola and Nike.

When considering Local Tulsa SEO versus International, do not forget that you dont have to sell globally merely because you have the capability to do so. It might be much simpler to sell to consumers within your locality compared to selling to consumers located six thousand miles away. If you are operating on a low budget, you should consider optimizing your site for the local audience first, before you venture into the international scene and compete globally.

Please get in touch with us so we can analyze your sites current SEO requirements whether international or local. This analysis is completely free of charge.

We do not provide a one size fits all solution at SEO Tulsa. We custom produce a marketing campaign that is distinctly suited to meet the needs and expectations of individual clients. Some of the strategies as well as services that we include within our comprehensive marketing campaigns include:

* PPC advertising

* Offsite, Onsite and guest blogging

* Strategic link building

* Testimonial solicitation and marketing case studies

* Social media management and marketing

* Comprehensive website analysis plus cleanup

At SEO Tulsa, we do not only focus on improving your rankings in search engine results. We also depend upon a comprehensive and all-inclusive marketing tactic which utilizes both traditional and digital mediums for optimum exposure across various channels. The result is established, measurable outcomes as well as greater returns on marketing investment. In addition to delivering excellent results, SEO Tulsa also carries the customer along by promising complete transparency via a highly progressive and advanced method of lead tracking, reliable reporting as well as high-level business development tools which place campaign analytics within the hands of customers directly.

If you own a business, be aware that there are several web hosting firms that provide services which can ultimately damage your rankings in search engines. You should also not forget that the average website designer may likely have little or no knowledge about internet marketing or search engine optimization. For these professional services, you should be working with a reliable and experienced marketing communications company such as SEO Tulsa and SSD Fair Marketing (our parent company).

One very common mistake that business owners and managers make is purchasing several domain names and using all of them to promote one website. This strategy is flawed in that most search engines including Google will regard the extra sites as duplicate content and may remove your site from search engine results or impose heavy penalties. Having multiple domain names is fine provided that you have unique and original content on each website.

For additional assistance and to start improving your business online brand via strategic search engine optimization services as well as established online marketing tactics, contact and schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable consultants now.

You want to select a company that provides ethical and effective marketing services, whether you do business locally, nationally or globally. SEO Tulsa does not employ black hat SEO tactics to get the job done for you. Instead, we utilize ethical SEO practices to help your website rank high in search engine results.

What this means is that we will never be dishonest regarding what can be reasonably expected from a personalized comprehensive marketing strategy for your business. Also we will give you detailed and accurate reports about the progress we are making. SEO Tulsa is committed to helping your business achieve online success as well as industry recognition. This, in turn, will help attract more clients thus generate more sales.

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Tulsa Seo Web Design Search Engine Optimization Tulsa

The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …

 Illuminati  Comments Off on The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …
Aug 232015
 

The Order of the Illuminati is often at the center of debates about the impact of secret societies on human history. Is the Illuminati a myth or does it truly secretly rule the world? As the number of people asking that question has grown, facts about the Order have become diluted with misconceptions and disinformation, making objective research on the subject difficult. This article attempts to shed some factual light on the Order of the Illuminati by reviewing some of the most important documents on the subject.

The world Illuminati is thrown around rather freely to describe the elite group that is secretly running the world. Most have a general idea of the meaning of the term, but are confused about the concepts and the ideas relating to it. Is the Illuminati the same thing as Freemasonry? What are their goals? What are their beliefs? Why do they act in secret? Do they practice occultism? Attempting to objectively research the subject can become an arduous task as most sources end up being either dismissive disinformation pieces that deny (and even ridicule) anything related to the Illuminati or, at the other end of the spectrum, espouse ill-informed fear mongering based on rumors and misconceptions. In both cases, the researcher ends up with the same result: a distorted version of the truth.

Considering that Secret Societies are supposed to be, by definition, secret, and that history is often rewritten by those in power, obtaining the unbiased truth about the Illuminati is a challenge. This article does not claim to reveal or expose everything that is to be known about the Illuminati; it rather attempts draw a more precise picture of the Order by citing authors who have extensively studied the subject. Whether they are, at the end of the day, critics or apologists of the Illuminati, these authors base their thoughts on credible facts. Some of the most interesting documents on the Illuminati were written by initiates of Secret Societies as they understood the philosophical and spiritual undercurrent driving the movement forward. Using these works, we will look at the origins, the methods and the impacts of the Illuminati on world history.

Although several groups called themselves Illuminati in the past, the most influential and memorable of them was the Bavarian Illuminati. Founded on May 1, 1776, the organization created by Adam Weishaupt blurred the line between spiritual and political Secret Societies. By mixing the occult sciences of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism while conspiring to achieve precise political goals, the Illuminati became an actor on the world stage. While most Secret Societies of the time catered to rich people and their fascination with occultism, the Bavarian Illuminati actively sought to profoundly change the world.

Secret Societies have existed throughout the course of history, each of them with different aims and with different roles in society. While the Egyptian mystery schools were part of the Egyptian institution, other groups were secret due to their subversive and conspiratorial aims. These two next quotes, written by two famous political figures, describe these opposing views on Secret Societies:

A mystical Fraternity, who, in an earlier age, boasted of secrets of which the Philosophers Stone was but the least; who considered themselves the heirs of all that the Chaldeans, the Magi, the Gymnosophists, and the Platonists had taught; and who differed from all the darker Sons of Magic in the virtue of their lives, the purity of their doctrines, and their insisting, as the foundation of all wisdom, on the subjugation of the sense, and the intensity of Religious Faith? Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1884 [1. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni]

The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments plans. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1876

These quotes describe different realms of influence of Secret Societies. The first one refers to the spiritual side while the second describes the political side. Not all Secret Societies dwell in the spiritual and not all of them get involved in political machinations. The Bavarian Illuminati operated in both realms.

Spiritual brotherhoods are pledged to Wisdom and guiding humanity towards the realm of the Infinite; Political brotherhoods [are comprised]of power-seekers who cloak their manipulative agenda in darkness. ()

All secret societies share certain fundamental themes. Membership is restricted to those who have an abiding interest in the subject. Thus, a spiritual group will attract people seeking more knowledge of a particular teacher or type of practice. The student is aware of the subject matter in advance and will approach the group for further instruction. More rarely, an individual may be tapped by the group because of a perceived affinity to its purpose.

In a political secret society, membership is restricted to those who share an ideological affinity with the goals the group represents. At the furthest end of the political spectrum, the mission will be revolution. Such a society will go to great lengths to defend itself. ()

The Illuminati are perceived by many as spanning the chasm between the spiritual and the political secret society. Often credited (or blamed) for influencing the French Revolution in 1787, the Illuminati taught a doctrine of social and political liberation that hinged on the equality of man, the embrace of rationalism, and the denial of crown and church as the legitimate institutions for the regulation of social and moral values. () While the views of the Illuminati may sound quite advanced for the time, the European revolutions they are believed to have encouraged degenerated into brutal bloodbaths whose singular lack of moral compass was appalling. [2. James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions]

While some believe that Adam Weishaupt was the sole mastermind of the Illuminati and that his organization rose to glory and died in less than twelve years, most researchers initiated in occultism believe that the Bavarian Illuminati was the rare appearance of an ancient Brotherhood that could be traced back to the Knight Templars of the Middle-Ages.

Manly P. Hall, a 33rd Degree Freemason and prolific author, described in his pamphlet Masonic Orders of Fraternity an Invisible Empire that has been silently working for centuries towards social change. It periodically became visible throughout History, through different organizations who bore different names. According to him, these groups have a great yet silent impact on society, even transforming the educational system to form future generations.

The direct descent of the essential program of the Esoteric Schools was entrusted to groups already well-conditioned for the work. The guilds, trade unions, and similar protective and benevolent Societies had been internally strengthened by the introduction of a new learning. The advancement of the plan required the enlargement of the boundaries of the philosophic overstate. A World Fraternity was needed, sustained by a deep and broad program of education according to the method. Such a Fraternity could not immediately include all men, but it could unite the activities of certain kinds of men, regardless of their racial or religious beliefs or the nations in which they dwelt. These were the men of towardness, those sons of tomorrow, whose symbol was a blazing sun rising over the mountains of the east. ()

It was inevitable that the Orders of Fraternity should sponsor world education. () The program included a systematic expansion of existing institutions and the enlargement of their spheres of influence.

Slowly, the Orders of Universal Reformation faded from public attention, and in their places appeared the Orders of World Brotherhood. Everything possible was done to prevent the transitions from being obvious. Even history was falsified to make certain sequences of activity unrecognizable. The shift of emphasis never gave the impression of abruptness, and the motion appeared as a dawning of social consciousness. The most obvious clues to the secret activity have been the prevailing silence about the origin and the impossibility of filing the lacunae in the records of seventeenth- and eighteenth- century fraternal Orders. ()

The Orders of Fraternity were attached by slender and almost invisible threads to the parent project. Like earlier Schools of the Mysteries, these Fraternities were not in themselves actual embodiments of the esoteric associations, but rather instruments to advance certain objectives of the divine plan. [3. Manly P. Hall, Masonic Orders of Fraternity]

Here, Hall mentions a silence and lack of information regarding the workings of Secret Societies during the 17th and 18th century, the epoch during which the Bavarian Illuminati was active. It is during this time period that Secret Societies took action, causing revolutions, overthrowing Monarchical and Papal powers and taking hold of the banking system. Was the Bavarian Illuminati part of the Invisible Empire described by Hall? Is it still active today? Lets first look at Adam Weishaupt and his infamous Secret Society.

Adam Weishaupt was born in Ingolstadt, Bavaria on February 6, 1748. His father died when he was seven and his godfather, Baron Ickstatt, entrusted his early education to the most powerful group of the time: the Jesuits. Known for its subversive methods and conspiratorial tendencies, the Society of Jesus had a stronghold on Bavarias politics and educational system.

The degree of power to which the representatives of the Society of Jesus had been able to attain in Bavaria was all but absolute. Members of the order were the confessors and preceptors of the electors; hence they had a direct influence upon the policies of government. The censorship of religion had fallen into their eager hands, to the extent that some of the parishes even were compelled to recognize their authority and power. To exterminate all Protestant influence and to render the Catholic establishment complete, they had taken possession of the instruments of public education. It was by Jesuits that the majority of the Bavarian colleges were founded, and by them they were controlled. By them also the secondary schools of the country were conducted. [4. Vernon L. Stauffer, The European Illuminati]

The inner-workings of the Society of Jesus was quite similar to the occult Brotherhoods it was apparently working against. It functioned with degrees, initiation rites, elaborate rituals and esoteric symbols and had been suppressed countless times in several countries due to its subversive tendencies.

In 1773, Weishaupts godfather used his great influence at the University of Ingolstadt to place his godson as chair of canon law. At that time, the institution was under heavy Jesuitical dominance and that particular position was traditionally held by influential Jesuits. Weishaupts growing embrace of Age of Enlightenment philosophies placed him at odds with the Jesuits and all kinds of political drama ensued. Despite this fact, Weishaupt learned a lot from the Jesuits organization and their subversive methods to obtain power. It is during this time that the idea of a Secret Soceity began to enter Weishaupts thoughts.

Brilliant, and well trained in the conspiratorial methods of access to power, young Weishaupt decided to organize a body of conspirators, determined to free the world from the Jesuitical rule of Rome. [5. Peter Tomkins, The Magic of Obelisks]

While some authors believe that the Jesuits (who were suppressed by papal bull in 1773) used Weishaupt to perpetuate their rule, others state that he was seeking to overthrow their powerful hold on Bavarian. On a wider scale, he was convinced that the world would profit from the overthrow of all governmental and religious institutions in the world to replace them by a world-wide, yet secretive, committee of initiates. To acheive his aims, he would use Jesuit methods against the Jesuits.

As Weishaupt pursued his studies, he also became knowledgeable in occult mysteries and Hermetism. He recognized the attractive power of this mysterious knowledge and understood that Masonic lodges would be the ideal venue to propagate his views. He therefore sought to become a Freemason, but was quickly disenchanted with the idea.

His imagination having taken heat from his reflections upon the attractive power of the Eleusinian mysteries and the influence exerted by the secret cult of the Pythagoreans, it was first in Weishaupts thought to seek in the Masonic institutions of the day the opportunity he coveted for the propagation of his views. From this, original intention, however, he was soon diverted, in part because of the difficulty he experienced in commanding sufficient funds to gain admission to a lodge of Masons, in part because his study of such Masonic books as came into his hands persuaded him that the mysteries of Freemasonry were too puerile and too readily accessible to the general public to make them worthwhile. [6. Stauffer, Op. Cit.]

Weishaupt soon realized that, to achieve his aims, it would be necessary for him to create his own secretive group, composed of powerful individuals who would embrace his views and help him propagate them.

He deemed it necessary, therefore, to launch out on independent lines. He would form a model secret organization, comprising schools of wisdom, concealed from the gaze of the world behind walls of seclusion and mystery, wherein those truths which the folly and egotism of the priests banned from the public chairs of education might be taught with perfect freedom to susceptible youths. [7. Ibid.]

The goal of Weishaupts organization was simple yet monumental: to overthrow all political and religious institutions in order to replace it with a group of Illuminati initiates. According to him universal happiness complete and rapid could be achieved by disposing of hierarchy, rank and riches. Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth; the human race will become one family; the world will be the abode of reasonable men. On May 1, 1776, the Order of the Illuminati was founded.

Weishaupts Illuminati began humbly with only five members, but after a few years and with powerful connections, the Order became a major political force across the world. Influential deciders, rich industrials, powerful noblemen and mysterious occultists joined the Order and participated in its conspiratorial objectives. Some historians claim that the Orders quick rise to success was due to a secret meeting between Weishaupt and a mysterious figure named Cagliostro, the most powerful occultist of the time.

In Ingolsstadt, Cagliostro is believed to have met Adam Weishaupt, professor of philosophy and canon law at the university, who in 1776, had founded the sect of Illuminati. Calling themselves heirs to the Knights Templar, they declared their interest in using celestial intervention as achieved by Cagliostro for the furtherance of a program of worldwide religious reform, but one more radical than Cagliostros, committed to avenging the death of the Templars Grand Master Molay by reducing to dust the triple crown of the popes and disposing of the last of the Capet Kings.

Cagliostro obliged, and described in prophetic detail the decapitation of Louis XVI, an event hardly to be envisaged at that time as anything but improbable. [8. Tompkins, op. cit.]

The Bavarian Illuminati was originally comprised of three primary grades: Novice, Minerval and Illuminated Minerval. Each grade was designed to achieve particular objectives while assuring complete control and dominance to the apex of the pyramid. Heres a brief look at each grade.

Entry-level members of the Bavarian Illuminati were attracted and introduced to the Order using attractive vocabulary (the quest for wisdom and betterment) and occult lore. They were however introduced to a highly monitored and controlling hierarchy, one that resembles the system of the Jesuits. There was no mention of the Orders political aims.

Once enrolled, the instruction of each Novice was to be in the hands of his enroller, who kept well hidden from his pupil the identity of the rest of his superiors. Such statutes of the order as he was permitted to read impressed upon the mind of the Novice that the particular ends sought in his novitiate were to ameliorate and perfect his moral character, expand his principles of humanity and sociability, and solicit his interest in the laudable objects of thwarting the schemes of evil men, assisting oppressed virtue, and helping men of merit to find suitable places in the world. Having had impressed upon him the necessity of maintaining inviolable secrecy respecting the affairs of the order, the further duties of subordinating his egoistic views and interests and of according respectful and complete obedience to his superiors were next enjoined. An important part of the responsibility of the Novice consisted in the drawing-up of a detailed report (for the archives of the order), containing complete, information concerning his family and his personal career, covering such remote items as the titles of the books he possessed, the names of his personal enemies and the occasion of their enmity, his own strong and weak points of character, the dominant passions of his parents, the names of their parents and intimates, etc. Monthly reports were also required, covering the benefits the recruit had received from and the services he had rendered to the order. For the building-up of the order the Novice must undertake his share in the work of recruitment, his personal advancement to the higher grades being conditioned upon the success of such efforts. To those whom he enrolled he became in turn a superior; and thus after a novitiate presumably two years in length, the way was open for his promotion to the next higher grade. [9. Stauffer, op. cit.]

When a Novice proved to his superiors to be worthy of advancement, he was initiated to the grade of Minerval.

Minerval seals of the Bavarian Illuminati. These pendants, worn around the necks of Minerval initiates, featured the Owl of Minerva . Also known as the Owl of Wisdom, this symbol is still found today in powerful places: around the White House, hidden on the dollar bill or on the insignia of the Bohemian Club.

The term Minerval is derived from Minerva who was the Roman goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the music. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom. An ancient symbol of the mysteries, Minerva is prominently featured in places such as the Library of Congress and the Great Seal of California.

The second grade of the Illuminati was one of indoctrination. The initiates were lectured on the spiritual principles of the Order but had little information regarding the true aims of Weishaupt and his close circle of administrators.

The ceremony of initiation through which the Novice passed into the grade Minerval was expected to disabuse the mind of the candidate of any lingering suspicion that the order had as its supreme object the subjugation of the rich and powerful, or the, overthrow of civil and ecclesiastical government. It also pledged the candidate to be useful to humanity; to maintain a silence eternal, a fidelity inviolable, and an obedience implicit with respect to all the superiors and rules of the order; and to sacrifice all personal interests to those of the society. [10. Ibid.]

Minervals were permitted to meet some of their superiors (Illuminated Minervals) and to engage in discussions with them. This privilege alone was a great source of motivation for the new initiates.

Selected from among the Minerval, the Illuminated Minerval were given specific tasks to accomplish in order to prepare them to take action in the real world. Most of their work consisted in the study of mankind and the perfection of methods to direct it. Each Illuminated Minerval was entrusted with a small group of Minervals who were scrutinized, analyzed and lead towards specific directions. Lower-grade members of the Order therefore became test subjects for techniques that might be applied to the masses in general.

To the grade Illuminated Minerval were admitted those Minervals who in the judgment of their superiors were worthy of advancement. Elaborate initiatory ceremonies fixed in the candidates mind the notions that the progressive purification of his life was to be expected as he worked his way upward in the order, and that the mastery of the art of directing men was to be his special pursuit as long as he remained in the new grade. To accomplish the latter, i.e., to become an expert psychologist and director of mens consciences, he must observe and study constantly the actions, purposes, desires, faults, and virtues of the little group of Minervals who were placed under his personal direction and care. For his guidance in this difficult task a complicated mass of instructions was furnished him.

In addition to their continued presence in the assemblies of the Minervals, the members of this grade came together once a month by themselves, to hear reports concerning their disciples, to discuss methods of accomplishing the best results in their work of direction and to solicit each others counsel in difficult and embarrassing cases. In these meetings the records of the assemblies of the Minervals were reviewed and rectified and afterwards transmitted to the superior officers of the order. [11. Ibid.]

From this basic structure, the Illuminati began its expansion. Everything was in place for Weishaupt to achieve an important goal: the infiltration of Freemasonry.

In 1777, the year following the creation of the Illuminati, Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge of Theodore of Good Counsel in Munich. Not only did he successfully propagate his views into the lodge, he also managed to get the lodge to bevirtually absorbed into the Illuminist order almost immediately. [12. Hall, op. cit.]

A definite alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry became possible in 1780 when a prominent figure by the name of Baron Adolf Franz Friederich Knigge was initiated into Weishaupts Order. The German diplomats Masonic connections and organizational skills were promptly put to use by the Order. Knigge would go on to accomplish two important tasks for the Illuminati: He revised the hierarchy of the Order, created new higher grades and allowed the full integration of Masonic lodges into the system.

Two weighty consequences promptly followed as the result of Kinigges advent into the order. The long-sought higher grades were worked out, and an alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry was effected. [13. Ibid.]

Knigge, an influential North German diplomat and occultist joined the Illuminati in 1780. He is here shown displaying the sign of the Hidden Hand (see the article entitled The Hidden Hand that Shaped the World on the Vigilant Citizen).

Knigges influence upon the Order was profound and immediate. The new system he devised attracted Freemasons and other powerful figures, which gave the movement great momentum. Heres the system devised by Knigge:

Knigges kept the Orders original grades untouched but added new grades above them. The second level of the Illuminati incorporated the grades of Freemasonry making therefore the Brotherhood simply a part of the wider Illuminist superstructure.

The grade Novice (a part of the system only in a preparatory sense) was left unchanged by Knigge, save for the addition of a printed communication to be put into the hands of all new recruits, advising them that the Order of the Illuminati stands over against all other forms of contemporary Freemasonry as the one type not degenerate, and as such alone able to restore the craft to its ancient splendor. ()

The three symbolic grades of the second class seem to have been devised solely for the purpose of supplying an avenue whereby members of the various branches of the great Masonic family could pass to the higher grades of the new order. [14. Ibid.]

The highest grades of the Order were restricted to a select few and included powerful individuals and influential figures. The grade of Prince held within its ranks National Inspectors, Provincials, Prefects and Deans of the Priests. At the top of the pyramid were the Magus (also known as Areopagites), which comprised the supreme heads of the Order. Their identities were safely guarded and are still difficult to confirm today.

Knigges strategy gave impressive results and allowed the Illuminati to become an extremely powerful movement.

The new method of spreading Illuminism by means of its affiliation with Masonic lodges promptly demonstrated its worth. Largely because of the fine strategy of seeking its recruits among the officers and other influential personages in the lodges of Freemasonry, one after another of the latter in quick succession went over to the new system. New prefectures were established, new provinces organized, and Provincials began to report a steady and copious stream of new recruits. () Students, merchants, doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, judges, professors in gymnasia and universities, preceptors, civil officers, pastors, priests all were generously represented among the new recruits. Distinguished names soon appeared upon the rosters of the lodges of the new system. Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Duke Ernst of Gotha, Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, Prince August of Saxe-Gotha, Prince Carl of Hesse, Baron Dalberg, the philosopher Herder, the poet Goethe, the educationist Pestalozzi, were among the number enrolled, By the end of 1784 the leaders boasted of a total enrollment of between two and three thousand members 106. and the establishment of the order upon a solid foundation seemed to be fully assured. [15. Ibid.]

Weishaup, however, did not enjoy his Orders success for long. Suspicions of Illuminati conspiracy against governments and religious arose across Europe. Seeing a credible threat against its power, the Bavarian government launched an edict outlawing all communities, societies and brotherhoods that existed without due authorization of the law. Furthermore, internal disagreements between Weishaupt and the higher ups of his Order lead to disputes and dissension. In the midst of it all, some members went directly to the authorities and testified against the Order, an opportunity that was not missed by the Bavarian government.

Out of the mouths of its friends, the accusations which its enemies made against the order were to be substantiated. By the admissions of its leaders, the system of the Illuminati had the appearance of an organization devoted to the overthrow of religion and the state, a band of poisoners and forgers, an association of men of disgusting morals and depraved tastes. [16. Ibid.]

By 1788, through the use of aggressive legislation and criminal charges, the Bavarian Illuminati was apparently dissipated and destroyed by the government. While some see here the conclusion of the story of the Illuminati, one must not forget that the tentacles of Illuminism had the time to spread way beyond to confines of Bavaria to reach Masonic lodges across Europe. In other words, the Illuminati was never destroyed, it simply went underground. A year later, an important event would prove that Illuminism was more alive and potent then ever: the French Revolution.

The violent overthrow of the French Monarchy in 1789 symbolizes to many the victory of Jacobinism and Illuminism over the traditional institutions of the time. The adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights officially recorded Masonic and Illuminist values into the core of the French government. The countrys new motto Libert, galit et Fraternit (Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood) was said to be a famous Masonic saying that was used in French lodges for centuries.

The official document of the Declaration of Human Rights contains several occult symbols referring to Secret Societies. First, the symbol of the All Seeing Eye within a triangle, surrounded by the light of the blazing star Sirius, is found above everything else (this symbol is also found on the Great Seal of the United States). Underneath the title is depicted an Ouroboros (a serpent eating its own tail), an esoteric symbol associated with Alchemy, Gnosticism and Hermetism, the core teachings of Masonry. Right underneath the Ouroboros is a red phrygian cap, a symbol representing Illuminist revolutions across the world. The entire Declaration is guarded by Masonic pillars.

If though Bavarian Illuminati was said to be dead, the ideas it promoted still became a reality. The Freemasons and Rosicrucians were still thriving, and the Illuminati appeared to be living through them. Europe was undergoing profound turmoil as a new class of people took the helms of power. Critics began to emerge, revealing to the masses the secret forces behind the changes they were witnessing.

Leopold Hoffman, a Freemason who was convinced that the Illuminati corrupted his Brotherhood, published a series of articles in his journal entitled Wiener Zeitschrift. He claimed that the lower grades of the Illuminati had been dissolved, but the highest degrees were still active. He also added that Freemasonry was being subjugated by Illuminism and transformed to serve its ends. He also stated that the French Revolution was the result of years of Illuminist propaganda.

In 1797, John Robinson, a Scottish physician, mathematician and inventor (he invented the siren) published a book entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies. This devout Freemason became disenchanted when he realized that his brotherhood had been infiltrated by the Illuminati. Heres an excerpt of his book:

I have found that the covert of a Mason Lodge had been employed in every country for venting and propagating sentiments in religion and politics, that could not have circulated in public without exposing the author to great danger. I found, that this impunity had gradually encouraged men of licentious principles to become more bold, and to teach doctrines subversive of all our notions of moralityof all our confidence in the moral government of the universeof all our hopes of improvement in a future state of existenceand of all satisfaction and contentment with our present life, so long as we live in a state of civil subordination. I have been able to trace these attempts, made, through a course of fifty years, under the specious pretext of enlightening the world by the torch of philosophy, and of dispelling the clouds of civil and religious superstition which keep the nations of Europe in darkness and slavery.

I have observed these doctrines gradually diffusing and mixing with all the different systems of Free Masonry; till, at last, AN ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN FORMED for the express purpose of ROOTING OUT ALL THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OVERTURNING ALL THE EXISTING GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE. I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, formally requested and obtained: And, lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavouring to propagate their detestable doctrines, but that the Association has Lodges in Britain corresponding with the mother Lodge at Munich ever since 1784. . . The Association of which I have been- speaking is the order of ILLUMINATI, founded, in 1775 [sic], by Dr. Adam Weishaupt, professor of Canon-law in the University of Ingolstadt, and abolished in 1786 by the Elector of Bavaria, but revived immediately after, under another name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It was again detected, and seemingly broken up; but it had by this time taken so deep root that it still subsists without being detected, and has spread into all the countries of Europe [17. John Robinson, Proofs of a Conspiracy]

Augustin Barrel, a French Jesuit priest also published in 1797 a book linking the French Revolution to the Bavarian Illuminati. In Mmoires pour servir lhistoire du Jacobisime, he traced back the slogan Liberty and Equality back to the early Templars and claimed that, in the higher degrees of the order, liberty and equality is explained not only by war against kings and thrones but by war against Christ and his altars. He also provided details pertaining to the Illuminist take-over of Freemasonry.

Barruel charged that not only the lower order of Masonry were duped by Weishaupt, but also those of Weishaupts own Illuminati, for whom he had provided another top-secret level of direction known as the Aeopagus, a withdrawn circle of directors of the whole order, who alone knew its secret aims. To Barruel, such revolutionary leaders as La Rochefoucauld, Lafayette, and the duc dOrlans, had become Illuminati agents and dupes of more extreme radicals such as Danton, provocateurs who sparked the Illuminati-directed rebellion. Barruel further charged that the entire French Masonic establishment had been converted to Weishaupts revolutionary ideas, its lodges turned into secret committees which planned bloodshed. [18. Tompkins, op. cit.]

Most of Americas Founding Fathers were part of Secret Societies, whether the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians or others. Some of them travelled to Europe and were well versed in the doctrines of the Illuminati.

From 1776 to 1785 when the Bavarian Illuminati was openly active Benjamin Franklin was in Paris serving as the ambassador of the United States to France. During his stay, he became Grand Master of the lodge Les Neufs Soeurs which was attached with the Grand Orient of France. This Masonic organization was said to have become the French headquarters of the Bavarian Illuminati. It was particularly influential in organizing of the French support for the American Revolution and was later part of the process towards the French Revolution.

In 1799, when German minister G.W. Snyder warned George Washington of the Illuminati plan to overthrow all governments and religion, Washington replied that he had heard much of the nefarious and dangerous plan and doctrines of the Illuminati. He however concluded his letter by stating: I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the society of Illuminati.

In another letter to Snyder, written a month later, Washington continued on the topic:

It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of separation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a separation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.

Part of the original letter written by George Washington regarding the Illuminati

Judging by this letter, George Washington was obviously well aware of the doctrines of the Illuminati And even if he did not believe that the Masonic institutions of the United States propagated its doctrines, he concedes that individuals might have undertaken that endeavour. After the Bavarian Illuminati

Today, the term Illuminati is used to loosely describe the small group of powerful individuals who are working towards the creation of a World Government, with the issue of a single world currency and a single world religion. Although it is difficult to determine if this group descends directly from the original Bavarian Illuminati or that it even uses the term Illuminati, its tenets and methods are in perfect continuation of it. As stated above, the name that is used to describe the occult elite can change. And, ultimately, the name is irrelevant; what needs to be recognized is the underlying current that has existed for centuries.

According the Manly. P Hall, the Bavarian Illuminati was part of what he calls the Universal Brotherhood, an invisible Order at the source of most Hermetic Secret Societies of the past. It has worked for centuries towards the transformation of mankind, guiding it through a worldwide alchemical process. The same way the alchemical Great Work seeks to turn crude metals into gold, it claims to work towards a similar metamorphosis of the world. According to Hall, the Universal Brotherhood sometimes makes itself visible, but under the guise of different names and symbols. This would mean that the Knights Templars, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and Illuminati are temporary visible manifestations of an underlying force that is infinitely more profound and more powerful. However, human beings being what they are weak toward greed and power-lust these movements often become corrupted and end up conspiring against the masses for more power and material gain.

Certainly there was an undercurrent of things esoteric, in the most mystical sense of the word, beneath the surface of Illuminism. In this respect, the Order followed exactly in the footsteps of the Knights Templars. The Templars returned to Europe after the Crusades, bringing with them a number of choice fragments of Oriental occult lore, some of which they had gathered from the Druses of Lebanon, and some from the disciples of Hasan Ibn-al-Sabbah, the old wizard of Mount Alamut.

If there was a deep mystical current flowing beneath the surface of Illuminism, it is certain that Weishaupt was not the Castalian Spring. Perhaps the lilies of the Illuminati and the roses of the Rosicrucians were, by a miracle of Nature, flowing from the same stem. The old symbolism would suggest this, and it is not always wise to ignore ancient landmarks. There is only one explanation that meets the obvious and natural requirements of the known facts. The Illuminati were part of an esoteric tradition which had descended from remote antiquity and had revealed itself for a short time among the Humanists of Ingolstadt. One of the blossoms of the sky plant was there, but the roots were afar in better ground. [19. Hall, op. cit.]

Hall concludes that the Illuminati existed long before the advent of Weishaupts Order and that it still exists today. It was under the guise of defeat and destruction that the Illuminati realized its greatest victories.

Weishaupt emerged as a faithful servant of a higher cause. Behind him moved the intricate machinery of the Secret School. As usual, they did not trust their full weight to any perishable institution. The physical history of the Bavarian Illuminati extended over a period of only twelve years. It is difficult to understand, therefore, the profound stir which this movement caused in the political life of Europe. We are forced to the realization that this Bavarian group was only one fragment of a large and composite design.

All efforts to discover the members of the higher grades of the Illuminist Order have been unsuccessful. It has been customary, therefore, to assume that these higher grades did not exist except in the minds of Weishaupt and von Knigge. Is it not equally possible that a powerful group of men, resolved to remain entirely unknown, moved behind Weishaupt and pushed him forward as a screen for its own activities?

The ideals of Illuminism, as they are found in the pagan Mysteries of antiquity, were old when Weishaupt was born, and it is unlikely that these long-cherished convictions perished with his Bavarian experiment. The work that was unfinished in 1785 remains unfinished in 1950. Esoteric Orders will not become extinct until the purpose which brought them into being has been fulfilled. Organizations may perish, but the Great School is indestructible. [20. Ibid.]

The Great Seal of the United States features the unfinished Great Pyramid of Giza, a symbol of the unfinished work of the Esoteric Orders: a New World Order. The Seal was adopted on the American dollar by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a 32nd Degree Freemason and a Knight of Pythias with ties Manly P. Hall.

If the Illuminist Agenda is still alive today, what form does it take? From the esoteric and spiritual point of view, some modern Secret Societies such as the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) have claimed to be the heirs of Illuminism. Other researchers stated that there exists hidden Orders above the 33 visible degrees of Freemasonry that form the Illuminati. As they are, by definition, secret, obtaining details about these Orders is quite difficult.

The political side of modern Illluminism is a lot more visible and its plans are obvious. An increasingly restrictive and concentrated group is being entrusted with the creation of important decisions and policies. International committees and organizations, acting above elected officials are today creating social and economic policies that are applied on a global level. This phenomenon is rather new in world history as a rather than kingdoms or nation-states, a non-elected shadow government, composed of the worlds elite, is gradually becoming the center of world power.

On another political plane are ideological groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, or participants in the World Economic Forum. Here we find leaders in politics, business, finance, education, and the media who share a belief in the value of global solutions; are in position of high authority and influence; and represent different levels of involvement with the inner circle of the group. Most members simply welcome the opportunity to associate with other well-known luminaries and are honored by being offered membership or attendance privileges. Yet, the ideology at the highest levels of such groups supports a world government to be administered by a class of experts and planners, entrusted with running centrally organized social and political institutions. Although members may be persuaded to add their considerable voices to certain transnational political and economic policies, they may bot be as supportive (or even aware) of the long-range ambitions of the inner circle. While these groups quite often hold their meetings in secret, their membership lists are a matter of public record. It is the central agenda that is disguised. [21. Wasserman, op. cit.]

The main elite groups and councils are: the International Crisis Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum, the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. The Bohemian Club is known to hold informal gatherings of the world elite punctuated with strange ceremonies and rituals. The Clubs insignia is an Owl similar to the one found on the Bavarian Illuminatis Minerval seal.

Insignia of the Bohemian Club

If one would carefully study the members and attendees of these exclusive clubs, one would notice that they combine the most powerful politicians, CEOs and intellectuals of the time with lesser known individuals with famous names. They are descendants of powerful dynasties that rose to power by taking over vital aspects of modern economies, such as the banking system, the oil industry or mass media. They have been associated with game changing events, such as the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. This act completely modified the banking system of the United States, placing it in the hands of a few elite corporations. A proof of this is the court decision of 1982 stating that The Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.

In his book Bloodlines of the Illuminati, controversial author Fritz Springmeier claims that todays Illuminati is formed from the descendants of thirteen powerful families whose ancestors had close or distant ties to the original Bavarian Illuminati. According to Springmeier, the 13 bloodlines are: the Astors, the Bundys, the Collins, the DuPonts, the Freemans, the Kennedys, the Li, the Onassis, the Reynolds, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Russells and the Van Duyns. [22. Fritz Springmeier, The Bloodlines of the Illuminati]

There is no doubt that by virtue of the material and political resources they own, some of these families have a great deal of power in todays world. They appear to form the core of what we call today the Illuminati. However, are they conspiring to create a New World Order? Heres a quote from David Rockefellers memoirs that might answer some questions:

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. [23. David Rockefeller, Memoirs]

The story of the Illuminati has been repressed or revealed, debunked or exposed, ridiculed or exaggerated countless times all depending on the point of the authors and whether they are apologists or critics. To obtain the absolute truth about a group that was always meant to be secret is quite a challenge and one must use a great deal of judgment and discernment to differentiate the facts from the fabrications. As it is not possible to answer all of the questions relating to the Illuminati, this article simply attempted to draw a more precise picture of the Order and to present important facts relating to it.

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Fifth Amendment – Kids | Laws.com

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Aug 082015
 

A Guide to the Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment, or Amendment V of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that protects you from being held for committing a crime unless you have been indicted correctly by the police. The Fifth Amendment is also where the guarantee of due process comes from, meaning that the state and the country have to respect your legal rights. The Fifth Amendment was introduced as a part of the Bill of Rights into the United States Constitution on September 5, 1789 and was voted for by of the states on December 15, 1791.

History of the Fifth Amendment

Once the United States won their independence from the British Parliament and monarchy that had acted like tyrants, the Framers of the United States Constitution did not trust large, centralized governments. Because of this, the Framers wrote the Bill of Rights, which were the first 10 amendments, to help protect individual freedoms from being hurt by the governmental. They included the Fifth Amendment, which gave five specific freedoms to American citizens.

Understanding the Fifth Amendment Line by Line

If you are confused by what each line means, here are some explanations to make the Fifth Amendment easier to understand:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury: No one can be put on trial for a serious crime, unless a grand jury decide first that there is enough proof or evidence so that the trial is needed. If there is enough evidence, an indictment is then issued, which means that the person who is charged with the crime will can put on trial for the crime.

Except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger: People in the military can go to trial without a grand jury first deciding that it is necessary. This is the case if the military person commits a crime during a national emergency or a war.

Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb: If someone is put on trial for a certain crime and the trial ends, the person cannot be tried once more for the same crime. If a person is convicted of a crime and then serves his or her time in jail, or if the person is acquitted, he or she cannot be put on trial a second time.

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Offshore Companies – Sovereign Man

 Offshore Companies  Comments Off on Offshore Companies – Sovereign Man
Aug 082015
 

To set up an offshore company or relocate your existing business overseas is a crucial step toward internationalizing yourself and your assets. Search for offshore company and youll find thousands of websites promising a quick company formation in Panama or the British Virgin Islands, with a range of other benefits for the jurisdiction in question.

There is a current misconception that offshore business is about evading taxes and hiding money from the government, which is certainly not the case.

There are 100% legitimate ways to structure your business interests overseas and realize significant benefits from an asset protection standpoint as well as tax-standpoint.

Want an example? In the last few years companies such as Google, Apple and a multitude of other companies have cut theirtaxes by billions of dollars in completelylegitimate ways.

You too can do this.

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First of all, you dont have to start a company offshore to save on taxes. If youre an American, just moving out of the US is a terrific first step. As a US expat, about $100,000 in overseas income is tax exempt, meaning that if you live outside the US you dont have to pay any taxes at all on the first $100,000 or soof foreign sourced income (you still have to file your tax report though). However, the real tax advantage from running an offshore company as a US citizen doesnt come from direct tax savings. It comes from tax deferment, meaning you postpone the payment of taxes into the future. If you run a business overseas and reinvest profits within the company you can defer taxes indefinitely. Lets say you have a profitable company overseas. Now imagine that instead of paying taxes on your profits every year you can reinvest that capital in your offshore company every year for 30 years, and only pay taxes if you decide to sell the company after 30 years. Being able to reinvest your capital tax-free combined with the power of compound interest makes this a truly exceptional opportunity.

Its a great idea to structure your business overseas, especially one thats online-based. If you incorporate your foreign business properly, it provides a legal way to defer tax payments (similarly to an IRA), as well as enabling much reduced liability. An online business has no limits as to how and where it can do business, so why should you let your business be limited by a jurisdiction that is based on the old, geographically limited model? Starting an offshore online business is a great way to build streams of income outside of your home country. Why would you want to have income streams outside of your country? Well, when inflation runs rampant in a country, having an income stream overseas in a stronger currency can potentially be a lifesaver. If hyperinflation would find its way to your country, which is a real risk with central banks all around the world printing new money 24/7, earning only a small part of your income in a different country is invaluable. An internet business based overseas, coupled with an offshore bank account, is the perfect medium through which you can do this.

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Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …
Aug 062015
 

With the problems and corruption in Pakistan going uncontrolled. The govt is trying to tax each and every banktransaction.There are alot of problems with current tax laws in Pakistan of which I am not going to get into much details. But bear in mind that each and every Pakistaniis taxed through Cellphone home phones, electric bills, tv bills, gas bills etc. Most of this sector which is below the poverty line doesnt even know that they are the ones that are suppose to receive a refunds. This in return causes the richer to get richer and divert taxes while the poor get poorer. With recommendations of the new tax law if implemented every banking transaction in Pakistan will be taxed hence causing more burden to existing taxpayers and causing double taxation. While this could be avoided if our systems worked properly then this wouldnt be a problem but the returns are hardly paid and have to go through alot of problems before you actually receive the payments. This may even propel the use of Bitcoin In Pakistan.

As mentioned before btc or bitcoinis a peer to peer system that works like utorrent and hence is equivalent to digital cash. While the leading world countries are now starting to accept this crypto currency and realize its existence (now evident by the acceptance of big players such as Paypal, Microsoft, Expedia, Namescheap, Goldman Sachs and entities such as NYSE) Pakistanstill remains far behind. But with the law as proposed by Mr Isaq Daar it may cause people to look for alternate ways to transact with one another in order to avoid this hefty tax. Bitcoin/btc/xbt maybe the answer here and propel people to actually start storing money in bitcoin. It is now clear that Pakistan is a growing economy in the bitcoin era as Urdubit trade volumes have reached 3 btc avg daily. Paybillwhich is still very new and still building has seen an increase in mobile topups. Paybill has been designed for payment of bills in Pakistan.

I do hope that this tax is not implemented, but at the same time this does show us how important a true p2p currency is. The fact that all the funds of any person in any country can be blocked or controlled by any sort of external force at will can just call shivers. I leave the readers of this blog to comment and share your thoughts on this.

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I figured it was time to update and give some information on what excatly is bitcoin and blockchain to my fellow country men. This is my view of what it is and why it is. Please realize that bitcoin in my opinon was created to make money truly yours. Currently all financial systems work through centralized banking, anyone living in Pakistan already know the problem with the control the banks have right now on our accounts. The idea is what I believe was in the head of satoshi that led to the creation of the first true peer to peer (similary to torrent) type currency known as btc or bitcoin. He laid the foundationg of an opensource ledger(database) for the general public where every entry was single entry and could not be removed. But all the ledger was synced with the other users running the software on the network. This software was known as a wallet which can be considered like a bank account of sort for the comman man. While you can have many wallat addresses in a single wallet it resides in public ledger. This is also why it is important to backup the wallet.dat file of your wallet if you have the full software running. There are now online wallets and paper wallets you can also store your bitcoins on online exchanges or bitcoin trading platforms. Do remember if you lose your wallet on your pc or paper wallet for any reason its gone forever. I believe that bitcoin is still in its infancey and has a long way to go, think about how internet came about: There was Fax> Bullitin Board Service or BBS> email >internet It took it a long time, it wasent an overnight revolution. Similarly bitcoin is very new. While it has captured a huge market it still has a long way to go. There are benifits of the blockchain and bitcoin as both are being innovated upon. Some companies are working on blockchain(ledger, or database) such as voip (p2p) coins such as korecoin and viorcoin then there rare coins such as bay, blk etc that support smart contrants and p2p markets. Then there is the ripple gateway that is trying to replace the current swift system.

Then there are services that belive in bitcoin itself and are using its financial power to change the way we bank or use money today. Think about the fact that you own one currency that works throughout the world you dont have to worry about Pakistani ruppee price fluctuating aganist the USD (this is an example) as PKR is not accepted everywhere in the world. It is a true boarderless curreny that I believe is brining people closer together. The launch of https://www.coinpip.com is one such gateway which lets companies pay their developers anywhere in the world. Its a singaporian startup that is doing alot of work in this feild. They take the bitcoin out of picture but use bitcoin in the backend. Then there are exchanges and atms and user acceptance poping up everywhere around the world, such as microsoft, dell, paypal, namescheap, overstock etc. There are physicall vendors in Pakistan too. There is a shop in Gunjarawallla, a petrol pump/ gas station in Karachi, then http://www.paybill.io where you can pay your bills for Malaysia and Pakistan and also do mobile topups, or easy loadshttp://www.a2zlawn.com that are accepting bitcoins for payment, you can also check http://www.coinmap.org for a few other locations that accept bitcoins.

I have also witnessed the power of bitcoin recently and how user to user interaction increases adoption. I was contacted by a person who wanted to buy stuff from a vendor in another country wanted to learn about bitcoin and how it could benifit him. After consultations with us he wanted to give it a go. But his vendor was also fearfull of the price fluctions and how bitcoin could be risky as he believed it cant be real. The user here after consultation convinced his vendor that he would be taking this risk so there was no worries at his end. The first transation they did took all in all 15 mins and the cash was transfered in the vendors bank account while saving the payee money as compared to if he had used a credit card or wiretransfer. When the vendor saw this his response was: This is really very easy, will you make more payments like this? This is what I believe money should be, a truely boarderless medium with worldwide acceptance. The bad policies of some countries have left them in poverty, this doesnt mean that that the citizen of that country should not even have control over their funds/money and acceptablity etc. If the currency is truely boaderless he doesnt have to worry about local exchangers even.

I do believe this is only the begining of the future what the future holds, can only be witnessed in time. I do believe there is a need for one global international currency even the world powers such as china, russia and UN want this. There is an interesting article that was put out back in 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/6152204/UN-wants-new-global-currency-to-replace-dollar.html and I think bitcoin is the answer for that.

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Its been a great week with urdubit picking up trade volume. And now a new website a2zlawn opening its door to welcome bitcoin acceptance in Pakistan for designer and Replica stores. While the awareness about bitcoin is not up to par in Pakistan, we are seeing new users come onboard.

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Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …

So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on So You Think You Know the Second Amendment? – The New Yorker
Jul 222015
 

Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.

For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The courts had found that the first part, the militia clause, trumped the second part, the bear arms clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear armsbut did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.

Enter the modern National Rifle Association. Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup dtat at the groups annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to poweras part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. (Jill Lepore recounted this history in a recent piece for The New Yorker.) The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as a fraud.

But the N.R.A. kept pushingand theres a lesson here. Conservatives often embrace originalism, the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a living constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century. (Reva Siegel, of Yale Law School, elaborates on this point in a brilliant article.)

The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagans election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House. At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find clearand long lostproof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms. The N.R.A. began commissioning academic studies aimed at proving the same conclusion. An outr constitutional theory, rejected even by the establishment of the Republican Party, evolved, through brute political force, into the conservative conventional wisdom.

And so, eventually, this theory became the law of the land. In District of Columbia v. Heller, decided in 2008, the Supreme Court embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment. It was a triumph above all for Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the opinion, but it required him to craft a thoroughly political compromise. In the eighteenth century, militias were proto-military operations, and their members had to obtain the best military hardware of the day. But Scalia could not create, in the twenty-first century, an individual right to contemporary military weaponslike tanks and Stinger missiles. In light of this, Scalia conjured a rule that said D.C. could not ban handguns because handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.

So the government cannot ban handguns, but it can ban other weaponslike, say, an assault rifleor so it appears. The full meaning of the courts Heller opinion is still up for grabs. But it is clear that the scope of the Second Amendment will be determined as much by politics as by the law. The courts will respond to public pressureas they did by moving to the right on gun control in the last thirty years. And if legislators, responding to their constituents, sense a mandate for new restrictions on guns, the courts will find a way to uphold them. The battle over gun control is not just one of individual votes in Congress, but of a continuing clash of ideas, backed by political power. In other words, the law of the Second Amendment is not settled; no law, not even the Constitution, ever is.

Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty.

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Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency …
Jul 032015
 

There is at least one legal way to get your euros out of Greece these days, to guard against the prospect that they might be devalued into drachmas: convert them into bitcoin.

Although absolute figures are hard to come by, Greek interest has surged in the online “cryptocurrency”, which is out of the reach of monetary authorities and can be transferred at the touch of a smartphone screen.

New customers depositing at least 50 euros with BTCGreece, the only Greece-based bitcoin exchange, open only to Greeks, rose by 400 percent between May and June, according to its founder Thanos Marinos, who put the number at “a few thousand.” The average deposit quadrupled to around 700 euros.

Using bitcoin could allow Greeks to do one of the things that capital controls were put in place this week to prevent: transfer money out of their bank accounts and, if they wish, out of the country.

“When people are trying to move money out of the country and the state is stopping that from taking place, bitcoin is the only way to move any value,” said Adam Vaziri, a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association. “There aren’t any other options unless you buy diamonds, and that’s very difficult to move.”

But Marinos said the bitcoin buyers’ main aim was to shield their money against the prospect that Greece might leave the euro zone and convert all the deposits in Greek banks into a greatly devalued national currency. If voters reject the demands of international creditors in a referendum on Sunday, this becomes much more likely.

“A lot of people are keeping all the bitcoins they buy on our platform, until they understand what to do with them,” Marinos said. “In their eyes, now they have bitcoins, they’re safe.”

That said, the value of a bitcoin, a web-based digital currency invented six years ago that floats freely and is not backed by a government or central bank, has been highly volatile.

It peaked at over $1,200 in late 2013 before crashing almost 70 percent in less than a month after a hacking attack on the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in early 2014.

This week, as Greece defaulted on a debt to the IMF, the price jumped to a 3-1/2-month high of $268 BTC=BTSP on the Bitstamp exchange — up more than 20 percent since the start of June — while the number of daily transactions reached a record 150,917.

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Government Explains Away Fourth Amendment Protection for …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Government Explains Away Fourth Amendment Protection for …
Jun 092015
 

People have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their private digital communications such as email, and therefore the Fourth Amendment protects those communications. It’s a simple extension of the Supreme Courts seminal 1967 ruling in Katz v. United States that the Fourth Amendment protected a telephone conversation held in a closed phone booth. But in a brief recently filed in a criminal terrorism case arising from surveillance of a United States citizen, the government needs only a few sentences to argue this basic protection doesnt apply, with potentially dramatic consequences for the rest of us.

United States v. Mohamud

Mohamed Mohamud is a Somalia-born naturalized U.S. citizen who was convicted in 2012 of plotting to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. Shortly after he was arrested, he was given notice by the government that it had used evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against him.

But it wasnt until after Mohamud was convicted and just a few weeks before he was to be sentenced that the government belatedly gave him notice for the first time that it had also used evidence derived under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). The government continues to withhold the details of the FAA surveillance, forcing Mohamud (and other defendants receiving delayed FAA notice) to raise generalized challenges to the constitutionality of the FAA based only on what is publicly known about Section 702 surveillance. Mohamud did exactly that in April, raising several legal challenges to the FAA and arguing he should receive a new trial.

The Governments Talking to a Foreigner Exception to the Fourth Amendment

While theres a lot unknown about Section 702 surveillance, we do know it authorizes the targeting of foreigners even when this targeting results in the incidental collection of constitutionally protected Americans communications. As a result, the government can acquire the contents of Americans e-mails, VOIP calls, chat sessions, and more when they communicate with people outside the US.

In its recently filed response to Mohamuds motion to suppress and for new trial, the government concedes for the sake of argument that an American whose communications are incidentally collected as part of Section 702 surveillance has constitutional interests at stake. So far so good; these constitutional interests are in fact at the core of what the Supreme Court describes as the Fourth Amendments protection of the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials. But then the government dismisses this fundamental protection with one staggeringly broad passage:

The Supreme Court has long held that when one person voluntarily discloses information to another, the first person loses any cognizable interest under the Fourth Amendment in what the second person does with the information. . . . For Fourth Amendment purposes, the same principle applies whether the recipient intentionally makes the information public or stores it in a place subject to a government search. Thus, once a non-U.S. person located outside the United States receives information, the sender loses any cognizable Fourth Amendment rights with respect to that information. That is true even if the sender is a U.S. person protected by the Fourth Amendment, because he assumes the risk that the foreign recipient will give the information to others, leave the information freely accessible to others, or that the U.S. government (or a foreign government) will obtain the information.

It is true that individuals assume the risk that the people they communicate with will turn over a recording to the government. So, for example, in the cases the government cites in the passage above, United States v. White and Hoffa v. United States, the Supreme Court found there is no Fourth Amendment violation if you have a private conversation with someone who happens to be a government informant and repeats what you said to the government or even surreptitiously records it. In those instances, individuals misplaced confidence that people they are communicating with wont divulge their secrets is not enough to create a Fourth Amendment interest.

But the government stretches these cases far beyond their limits, arguing that its own incidental collection of an Americans communications while targeting a foreigner is the same as having that person repeat what the American said to the government directly, even though it is the government that is eavesdropping on the conversation. In essence, when you communicate with someone whose communications are being targeted under the FAA, you have no Fourth Amendment rights. Under this reasoning, any time you send an email to someone in another country, you assume the risk that your intended recipient may be a foreigner and that the government can obtain the contents of the email without a warrant.

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NATO and Russia watch one another closely in Eastern …

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO and Russia watch one another closely in Eastern …
May 232015
 

Sweden scrambled fighter jets to intercept two Russian military planes that flew too close to Swedish airspace.

With Russia flexing its muscles, three of its Baltic neighbors — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have asked NATO to permanently deploy ground troops as a deterrent.

Russian fighter jets are being watched closely by NATO as the country flexes it’s muscle in the air.

CBS News

On Europe’s Eastern frontier, NATO F-16s and Eurofighters drill for something they’re doing more and more, intercepting Russian military aircraft flying too close for comfort to European airspace.

A cockpit video shows NATO jets shadowing Russian planes, which often try to stay invisible by turning off their transponders.

Play Video

The Royal Air Force scrambled fighter jets to escort Russian bombers away from U.K. airspace, an encounter that one analyst described to Charlie …

We watched the NATO pilots practice from a military transport plane. But last years in the Baltic states, they did this for real more than 150 times, a nearly four-fold increase on 2013.

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NATO and Russia watch one another closely in Eastern …

Edward Snowden: The NSA Is Looking at Your Nude Pics – Video

 NSA  Comments Off on Edward Snowden: The NSA Is Looking at Your Nude Pics – Video
Apr 142015
 



Edward Snowden: The NSA Is Looking at Your Nude Pics
Edward Snowden: The NSA Is Looking at Your Nude Pics Snowden warned that while some NSA programs were helpful to the country's intelligence officials, spying had started coming against …

By: Economic News TV

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Twenty-eight English clubs are now owned overseas, increasing the risk of tax avoidance

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on Twenty-eight English clubs are now owned overseas, increasing the risk of tax avoidance
Apr 142015
 

Twenty-eight clubs in the English top four divisions are now substantially owned overseas. Photograph: The Guardian

Almost one in three of the 92 Premier and Football League clubs are now substantially owned overseas, including in offshore tax havens, leading to the English football leagues being accused of allowing ownership structures of clubs that could be used for tax avoidance. Research into the ownership of all the clubs by the Guardian and the campaign group the Tax Justice Network has found 28 clubs with a substantial shareholding overseas, including nine of the 20 Premier League clubs.

The Tax Justice Network, which has produced its own report, The Offshore Game, argues the ownership of football club shares via offshore companies means there is huge potential for tax avoidance when the clubs are sold. There is no suggestion any particular club or owner has engaged in tax avoidance; however, owners residing abroad, who hold shares in clubs through companies registered overseas, may not be liable for UK capital gains tax currently 28% for higher rate, wealthier, tax payers on the profits they make when they sell a club. The huge rise in offshore ownership of clubs, which were almost all UK-owned until the wave of overseas buyers moved in around a decade ago, has coincided with steepling increases in television rights and the value of clubs, in the Premier League, and in the Championship for clubs with a prospect of promotion. The ownership of billions of pounds worth of assets through offshore shell companies means there is a huge potential for tax avoidance, said George Turner, author of the Tax Justice Networks report. This should be of great concern to fans around the country, who invest so much time, commitment, emotion and money into their clubs.

Football is not just another business and tax havens have no place in our national game, whatever the reason an owner may have for using them.

While many of the clubs are not owned via shell companies and their locations reflect the nationalities of the businessmen who have bought the clubs including Sheikh Mansour, the Abu Dhabi-based owner of Manchester City, the Malaysian owners of Queens Park Rangers and Venkys, the Indian poultry company which owns Blackburn Rovers other clubs are owned in a variety of countries widely recognised as tax havens. The Cayman Islands feature in the ownership of four clubs: Manchester United, now registered there; Birmingham City, Coventry City and Cheltenham Town.

United was re-registered in the Cayman Islands when the club was floated on the New York stock exchange in 2012, and company documents state the club is now owned by family trusts affiliated with the Glazer family, via companies registered in the US state of Nevada. United and the Glazers have never explained why they employ this structure and did not respond to questions about it from the Guardian.

Related: Why are English clubs owned overseas? Their responses

The American businessman Stan Kroenke holds his 66.8% of Arsenal via a corporation, KSE UK Inc, registered in Delaware, sometimes referred to as the tax haven state of the US, because of the anonymity it affords shareholders and its taxation laws.

The club declined to say whether this means no capital gains tax will be payable if Kroenke sells his stake at a profit but he has always been described as committed to owning Arsenal in the long term and not intending to sell.

Fenway Sports Group and Randy Lerner, the US owners of Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively, declined to say in which US state their ownership companies are registered. Ellis Short, the American owner of Sunderland, still owns the club via the Jersey company, Drumaville, which the previous Irish investors, associates of the former chairman Niall Quinn, used as their ownership vehicle. A Fulham spokesperson said Shahid Khan, the clubs American owner, will shortly fold the British Virgin Islands company previously owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, and the ownership structure will become fully UK-based.

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Twenty-eight English clubs are now owned overseas, increasing the risk of tax avoidance

Residential for sale – 4845 HIGHWAY 2 EAST, LEEDS & THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, ON K7G2V5 – Video

 Islands  Comments Off on Residential for sale – 4845 HIGHWAY 2 EAST, LEEDS & THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, ON K7G2V5 – Video
Apr 132015
 



Residential for sale – 4845 HIGHWAY 2 EAST, LEEDS THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, ON K7G2V5
Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/UK25YU The perfect family bungalow close enough to town but has all the country charm! Boasting 1.54 acres with waterviews. This home is packed…

By: Re/Max Finest Realty Inc., Brokerage

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Residential for sale – 4845 HIGHWAY 2 EAST, LEEDS & THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, ON K7G2V5 – Video

Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year – Video

 NATO  Comments Off on Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year – Video
Apr 112015
 



Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year
Ukraine looks to be making its next steps towards closer intergration with NATO, with the country's prime minister saying that the government is set to sign two agreements on military cooperation…

By: UKRAINE TODAY

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Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Deal: Ukraine parliament renounced countrys non-aligned status last year – Video

Snowden To Oliver: NSA Has The Greatest Surveillance Capabilities Weve Ever Seen In History – Video

 NSA  Comments Off on Snowden To Oliver: NSA Has The Greatest Surveillance Capabilities Weve Ever Seen In History – Video
Apr 112015
 



Snowden To Oliver: NSA Has The Greatest Surveillance Capabilities Weve Ever Seen In History
Snowden warned that while some NSA programs were helpful to the country's intelligence officials, spying had started coming against American citizens themselves in wide-ranging domestic …

By: The Alex Jones Channel

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Snowden To Oliver: NSA Has The Greatest Surveillance Capabilities Weve Ever Seen In History – Video

Long-overdue tax revolt is finally under way in Britain

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on Long-overdue tax revolt is finally under way in Britain
Apr 112015
 

When I moved from New York to London in the mid-1990s as a foreign correspondent, I hired a British accountant to ease me into the countrys tax system. That he did. He told me about non-domiciled tax status non-dom for short a popular little perk I had never heard of previously. I filled in a few forms and suddenly I was in fiscal heaven.

Non-dom status dates back to the Napoleonic wars, a historical quirk that has endured for more than two centuries even though it is entirely unfair, sexist, open to abuse and of dubious utility to the governments strategic goals.

It allows foreigners with family and business links abroad (in my case Canada) and some Brits who were lucky enough to have a father, but not a mother, born outside of Britain to declare another country as their real domicile.

The status allows non-doms to pay no tax in Britain on any income or capital gains earned outside of Britain, although, since 2008, they have had to pay an annual fee to maintain their status. It meant I paid tax only on the portion of my salary that I brought into Britain (I scrapped my non-dom status after a year, when it seemed that London was becoming my permanent home). The non-dom tax dodge is entirely legal, encouraged even, and still is. This week, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband promised to abolish it if Labour wins the May 7 election. The pledge opened a new front in what had been a tedious and predictable campaign. The pledge worked. Mr. Miliband is now leading the polls as David Camerons Conservatives and the conservative press find themselves defending the indefensible.

A long-overdue tax revolt is finally getting under way in Europe and its not one against excessive taxes, although that exists, too. The revolt is aimed at wealthy individuals and corporations who game the system so expertly that they pay hardly any taxes, or less tax than fairness would dictate. Europe is riddled with tax havens whose role is to deprive high-tax countries from the resources they need to support their social systems. The Channel Islands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and Ireland all offer corporations and individuals low-tax bolt holes that many finance directors and yacht-equipped oligarchs cannot resist, and who can blame them?

Last week, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations revealed that Canadas Eldorado Gold was using Dutch mailbox addresses to trim its tax load in effectively bankrupt Greece (where, incidentally, high-seas shipping companies are exempt from taxes). Google, Amazon, Starbucks and Apple, among other global biggies, employ entire departments dedicated to devising phenomenally clever, yet apparently legal, tax-avoidance schemes in Europe.

In 2013, a U.S. Senate investigation showed that Apple had paid just 2-per-cent tax on income of $74-billion (U.S.) over three years, largely by exploiting Irelands rather convenient tax code. Amazon runs most of its European operations out of Luxembourg, allowing it to minimize taxes from operations in other European countries.

Sadly, the effort to crack down on blatant tax avoidance schemes has few high-profile champions. Countries such as Luxembourg seem to have tax avoidance infused into their sovereign DNA. Last year, it was revealed that no less than former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, now President of the European Commission, had overseen the introduction of laws that turned Luxembourg into a tax haven. Meanwhile, of course, the European Commission is urging Greece to get serious about tax collection.

Mr. Milibands pledge to sink the non-doms unleashed a pointless debate. Various Tories argued that scrapping the loophole would scare away wealthy investors, costing her majestys treasure a fortune. Jobs would vanish and London would lose its status as an international finance centre. Billionaires would bolt from Mayfair and Kensington and head to Liechtenstein or some obscure tax haven tucked away in the Pyrenees (as if). Labour said ending the non-dom freebie would bring in about 1-billion ($1.8-billion) a year in taxes. That claim is equally absurd. The net effect is a wild guess, although its probable that any losses or gains to the treasury would hardly be enormous.

But thats not the point. The point is fairness. The non-dom loopholes make the rich richer, which widens the wealth divide and builds resentment among the unwealthy, all the more so since the non-dom definition appears to be overly flexible. HSBC boss Stuart Gulliver, who was born in Britain and has worked In London since 2003, is a non-dom (he considers his home Hong Kong, where he spent most of his career).

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Long-overdue tax revolt is finally under way in Britain

China defends reclamation of islands in disputed territory

 Islands  Comments Off on China defends reclamation of islands in disputed territory
Apr 112015
 

Analysts say the pictures show how China is attempting to create facts in the water to bolster its sovereignty claims

7 AREAS: Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr presents photos of China’s reclamation projects in West Philippine Sea

The Philippines one of the most vocal of China’s neighbours in defending its competing territorial claim reacted strongly, calling for the Asian giant to “dismantle” the reclaimed land. (READ: PH fears ‘miscalculation’ in West PH Sea)

“They have to dismantle it,” said Peter Paul Galvez, spokesman for Manila’s defense department. “It is a concern not only of our country and region but of the whole international community.”

A series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size.

Before-and-after images of other outcrops in the Spratly Islands record runways appearing from jungle, smooth-sided solid masses where coral once lay, and man-made harbors replacing natural reefs.

Analysts say the pictures show how China is attempting to create facts in the water to bolster its sovereignty claims.

Beijing asserts sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, including areas close to the coasts of other littoral states, using a nine-segment line based on one that first appeared on Chinese maps in the 1940s.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims.

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Beat the crowds: 5 Virgin Beaches to Visit in the Philippines this Summer

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beat the crowds: 5 Virgin Beaches to Visit in the Philippines this Summer
Apr 112015
 

5 Crowd-less Philippine Beaches to Visit this Summer

This summer, going to the beach sounds like the best idea to beat the heat. But everyone seems to be thinking the same thing, and you end up elbow-to-elbow with the crowd in some of the more popular beaches in the country not conducive to relaxing and beach bumming!

Kalanggaman Islandphoto by Kalanggaman Island FB

Good thing the Department of Tourism suggested some crowd-less beaches to visit in the Philippines this summer. These beaches are as beautiful and serene as the more popular ones like in Boracay and Puerto Galera, but theres a better chance youll find your personal space in these sandy shores. Just make sure you get there first!

How to get there: Take a flight to Butuan City. From the airport, take a four- to five-hour road trip to San Agustin via public bus transport or private vehicle. Drop off point will be the Salvacion Tourism Office, from which you may take a habal-habal motorcycle or a tricycle to Britania.

Britania Islandsphoto by Raissa QD via Flickr

The Tourism Department describes the beach in Britania Islands as one of the countrys best-kept island secrets. Its made up of a cluster of more than 20 islands on Lianga Bay, facing Pacific Ocean. The islands have powdery white sands which DOT says is comparable to Boracays.

How to get there: Board a bus en route to Iba, Zambales. Get off at the San Antonio Municiap Hall, and then take a tricycle to Pundaquit beach. From there, rent a boat going to Nagsasa Cove.

Sunset in Nagsasa Covephoto by Kris Opiana via Flickr

Nagsasa Cove is close enough to Metro Manila to become a road trip destination. The Department of Tourism says its a great destination with powdery white sand and crystal waters. Perfect for a quick weekend getaway!

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Beat the crowds: 5 Virgin Beaches to Visit in the Philippines this Summer




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism